Pear Vanilla Bread Recipe

As I shared recently, I’ve been canning up a quite a bit of fruit lately, including pears. I had another 20 pound box of pears to address today and the plan was to make my favorite jam ever, Pear Vanilla Jam …

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Host a Frugal Fondue Party (Easy Cheese & Chocolate Fondue Recipes)

Host a {Frugal} Fondue Party

One of my very favorite dinners out is fondue! However, if you’ve ever visited a fondue restaurant, you know that it isn’t exactly the most budget-friendly night out. Several years ago, my girlfriends and I decided just to do our own fondue night in. What resulted was a night of deliciousness – for a lot less money.

Now that fall is here, I thought it would be the perfect time to share the tried-and-true cheese fondue recipe I’ve been using with you. I’ve made this recipe for book clubs, as an appetizer for holiday meals, and just for a fun dinner. Not only it is easy, it only requires a few easy-to-find ingredients.

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Here is what you’ll need: 

  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup beer or dry white wine (I like using Hefeweisen)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • dash of garlic powder

As far as what to dip in your fondue? It’s really up to you. My personal favorites are cubed French bread, cubed Granny Smith apples, and fresh vegetables (I like broccoli and baby carrots).

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The Best Freezer Waffle Recipe Ever

waffles

I sometimes get the urge to make a whole mess of pancakes or waffles on a lazy Saturday morning. I happen to have had a bit of buttermilk in my fridge, so I decided to peruse AllRecipes.com for a great buttermilk waffle recipe.

I’m happy to say, I found one! In fact, these waffles were so good I decided to make them again, this time doubling the recipe so I could freeze them.

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I’m going to warn you though – while this recipe is simple to follow, there are definite steps you will need to follow. Don’t skip them! They result in what I think has got to be the absolute best waffle batter I’ve ever worked with.

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Pizza Spirals Recipe – Freezer to Lunchbox

This easy pizza spirals recipe is perfect for quick school lunches and can be made and frozen ahead of time!

Easy Pizza Spirals Recipe - an easy, delicious recipe that goes from freezer to lunchbox!

In an effort to continue the ease of school lunches this year, I have made this extremely easy pizza spirals recipe for the kids to grab out of the freezer in the morning. The beautiful thing about these spirals is the fact you can use just about any pizza toppings your kiddos desire. Let’s say you have a meat lover and a vegetarian (hey, it can happen!), you can easily adapt this recipe by making your spirals half and half!

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • refrigerated pizza dough
  • pizza sauce (about 1/2 cup)
  • shredded mozzarella cheese (1/2 cup)
  • pizza toppings (pepperoni, Italian sausage, veggies…etc.)
Pizza Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 400°.

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Homemade Blackberry Vodka Recipe

How to make your own blackberry infused vodka. You can also take this #recipe to make any number of fruit infused vodkas. So good - and super easy.

I have picked a lot of blackberries over the past few weeks. A lot. You know it’s bad when you start dreaming you’re picking berries! All told, I’ve picked enough to:

  • fill 10 quart-sized freezer bags full.
  • make a batch of homemade blackberry ice cream.
  • make 5 pints of blackberry jam.
  • have some for snacks.

But, I also wanted to do something a little extra special with blackberries. Something to enjoy late some night as a reward for hours spent getting stuck by thorns and reaching my body in odd directions to get “just one more berry!”

Yes, I’ve decided to attempt homemade blackberry vodka. I initially wanted to make blackberry wine, but I’m too cheap to spend the money just now on the equipment I’d need. (Maybe some day?)

After scouring the internet for recipes, I came up with my own version. Will this work? Well, I think so…and part of me wonders how wrong could you go by mixing vodka and blackberries?

Here’s my recipe:

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Mini Calzone Recipe (Easy, Kid-Friendly Lunch Idea)

Mini Calzones Recipe: Easy, Portable Back to School Lunch idea (and freezer friendly!)

Mini Calzones Recipe

Have you ever come up with an idea so simple, it’s just genius? I don’t mean to gloat – but that’s basically what you’re about to encounter here with today’s recipe. Not only are these calzones simple and inexpensive to make – they are portable, freezer-friendly, and kid-friendly. In other words, they are perfect to tuck into your kid’s lunch this fall.

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One of my kids’ favorite meals is pizza. However, pizza isn’t always so easy to make and pack for school lunches. I researched many recipes for pizza rolls and pizza pockets, but many of them involved making dough from scratch or many ingredients, so I decided to strike out on my own with today’s recipe. I wanted to create something that was delicious, portable, but that wouldn’t require a huge time/energy commitment on your part, either. The good news is this recipe ticks all those boxes.

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How to Make Spaghetti Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes (Freezer Friendly Recipe)

Wondering how to make spaghetti sauce? This easy spaghetti sauce recipe breaks it down for you step by step, including a freezer-friendly storage solution!

This is the year of the lazy garden. The year I only half-way planted, half-way weeded, and hardly ever watered. While a number of things didn’t grow (as was to be expected!), there were a number of delightful surprises.

15 Pounds of Garden Tomatoes

I easily filled two big pans’ worth of tomatoes after just 10-15 minutes of picking from my two bushes. This year, I grew one Roma and one beefsteak variety. Now, what to do with them?

In the past, I have canned garden tomatoes, but truth be told, it was just too easy for me to forget about/not use them. I’ve also simply frozen tomato puree. But there again, I didn’t really end up using that either. This year I decided to consider, “What do we actually eat with tomatoes?” Waste not, want not, right?

And what I came up with: spaghetti sauce. After all, I buy and use it regularly. So I decided to turn my 15 pounds of garden tomatoes into sauce. I’d like to share with you the steps I took to make my sauce in case you’re looking to do something similar. I modified this spaghetti sauce recipe I found at Food.com. Of course, you can modify the flavors to suit your tastes, or the amount of tomatoes you happen to have as I did!

Don’t have a garden? You can often find great deals on boxes of tomatoes at the farm stands or farmer’s market this time of year, so don’t count yourself out.

Easy Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Fresh Garden Tomatoes

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need:

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Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream | The Coupon Project

Last week, I shared my discovery of a local park that has over 3,300 blueberry bushes…that locals are welcome to pick from for FREE. However, we timed our visit a bit on the early side and only managed to pick about 3 cups worth of blueberries in an hour. (I’m told we should wait another couple weeks, then there will be blueberries galore!)

Charlotte's Blueberry Park, Tacoma | The Coupon Project

My son had the brilliant idea of turning our blueberries into homemade ice cream! It sounded delicious and easy enough. Besides that, my husband received a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker a couple years ago as a gift from his mom, and we need to put it to more use! (PS – If you want one of your own, this best-selling Cuisinart frozen yogurt-ice cream maker is currently ~$70 on Amazon.)

I found a very simple recipe over at Food.com. However, a warning: while this recipe is indeed easy to make, it requires an abundance of patience. This can be difficult if you have little ones (or bigger ones) chomping at the bit for homemade ice cream! I promise you this ice cream will be worth the wait.

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Simple Homemade Mac’n Cheese

Simple Homemade Mac'n Cheese: Never buy the boxed stuff again!

One of my daughter’s very favorite (and most requested!) meals is macaroni and cheese. And yes, while I’ve purchased boxed varieties over the years, I’ve wondered if I couldn’t develop my own homemade version using whole ingredients that I control. After several months of tinkering and experimenting, I’m happy to say her favorite macaroni and cheese is now my recipe, not one from a box!

Not only is today’s recipe delicious – it’s very quick and easy to prepare and chances are, you have most (if not all) of the ingredients right now!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6-8 oz dry pasta (I am using elbow macaroni today, but we’ve also used rotini, shells, and other shapes)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I use sharp cheddar for a nice cheese flavor)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs + 2 tbsp melted butter (optional)

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